Finding Houses For Flipping

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 Finding Houses For Flipping

There are a few things that hinder people when getting into flipping houses. One is the fear of the unknown. This is true of almost any activity that is new to us as humans.

However, the difference here, is that fear is also enhanced by the thought of risking and losing money. Worrying about that risk involved may always be there, but when it is something being done for the first time it becomes magnified. Another obstacle is finding how to fund while still another is finding the houses to flip.

You can attend real estate investment meetings and may also look for training manuals and books. But you cannot start if you lack confidence. There are several ways to obtain houses, but you want to obtain properties that can be flipped for a profit. This means the combination of purchase price along with holding, rehabbing and selling costs must obviously be less than the amount that you can resell the house for.

To begin with, we are looking for houses that are usually in ill-repair. This means you want houses that usually need, at a minimum, upgrading and cosmetic work. Better yet, you want houses that are a wreck. Any house that is obtained for flipping must be acquired at a price that is well below market. We will discuss how to determine whether you will make a profit on a house that you want to obtain in a later article. But for now, we must figure out how to get that house.

A few ideas you can use to quickly and efficiently find properties:

  • Realtor Let’s start with the obvious. You certainly can get a house the “conventional” way.  By that I mean through a realtor.  As someone who has flipped houses, I have had success with this, but there are issues you have to deal with when you go this route.
  • Posting Signs - Another method of finding houses is through sign posting, also known as “bandit signs.”  I’m sure you have seen these signs in the area where you live.  They usually say “WE BUY HOUSES” or “WE PAY CASH FOR HOUSES” and “WE BUY HOUSES IN ANY CONDITION.”  These signs are a way of marketing the fact that you are in the market for buying houses.  I have found that a yellow sign with black lettering is easy for people to see.  I prefer these colors over the blue and white, which is a second choice in color combinations.  The sign should be big enough to see from some distance.  This is best achieved with professional printing rather than hand made as you sometimes see.
  • Craigslist - Advertising on Craigslist can reap big benefits.  Ads that emphasize that you buy houses for cash can work.  Advising people that you can relieve the pressures caused by the debts and other problems the current owner may have can draw attention to your ad.   If you can indicate that you are a problem solver within the ad, such as saying you can work with the sellers to help them get through a divorce, pending foreclosure, relocating, removing unwanted items or some other legal, financial or time related issue it will get a motivated seller thinking.  Be positive and be the savior, not the piranha.
  • Mailings - Using direct mail can prove to provide some very good benefits.  The presentation of what you mail can be just as important as the content. I have seen some very unique mailings on paper that have a background or heading showing horses, dogs or some other animals.  A type of letter that I have seen, and used myself, and that has some good success is a letter that goes out on yellow lined paper.  You can actually hand write the letter on yellow lined paper and make photocopies.  If the photocopy machine is fairly good the copies look like original letters.  There are also companies that do yellow letters.  There is also a company called Yellow Letters that can help in a variety of ways (www.yellowletters.com)

THE BOTTOM LINE

There are many ways to generate leads.  These are just a few.  You have to expect to spend time and money when marketing to find houses to flip.  The bottom line in marketing is to keep all of the options open. 

Get the most out of your time and money.  Spend money on bandit signs, mailings, databases and other means of obtaining information about homes that could become your next project.  Be aggressive with networking.  The best way to be successful is to meet people, let them know what you do and follow-up with leads.



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